Episode 52: 

Wendy Harris, Queen of Making Conversation, Director of Wag Associates

Show Notes:

Wendy runs a company in Midlands in UK, Wagg Associates. Doing role for ~30 years. Loves most is having conversations.

She’s known on social media as the Queen of Making Conversation because she's generally the person who will pick up the phone and do the pre=qualification for doing more business with them.

She also helps train teams and has 1:1 meetings to help them and everyone have real conversations.

Win a Twitter Award and received the title of Queen of Making Conversation

Social Savvy SBS award on Twitter 

*Goes to show if you go about telling people what you do, helping people and not keeping all the info to yourself, people will reward you.

 

There’s so much involved in running your business even if you’re only interested in sales. It’s so easy to get into a rut, same old habits and become disheartened. It’s a numbers game and be disheartened – no matter how much you put into it, you’re still going to be disheartened.

Making people realize less is more, quality over quantity, and joining those marketing message with sales – it’s so much better!! It’s important that they are working together.

One of the things that stands out to her, talking to a new or existing customer, it’s always about ‘just getting on the phone and a list of people you need to speak to’ and there’s no real strategy with that. “what if I can’t get a hold of them I’d like to send them something in an email, what should I send them?” and that is really drawing on marketing to get that help.

Not everyone is going to take that effort click on a link in your email to your website. They will dismiss you. You need to make it really relevant to them.

Her project is getting someone on the phone and realize that a lot of that work hasn’t been started or half done. It’s not joined up. If you’re going to have a nice website, nice brochure and reason to have a conversation with people – and social proof as to why people are already using you and why you’re brilliant – it makes that call so much easier to have those conversations and takes that ‘cold call’ away – because you’re matching something they are already looking for and didn’t realize they needed it.

 

Messaging is similar, it’s reinforcing everything that that customer is going to see of you, the subliminal touches, the brief that you have they are going to have with you becomes very niche. You can get to the point a lot quicker. Yes, email campaigns work but you must be following them up with a telephone call!

There’s isn’t anything worse than not knowing – follow-up with a call and get the yes or no.

It comes down to Yes, No and Not Yet. Those should be the responses for all prospects. If you have all that in your mind already, it’s really all about positioning and pipe lining. How many times am I going to pick up the phone and really connect with someone who needs what I have? It’s going to be rare. At least if you have a yes, no or not yet, it’s better.

We know things have to happen in a certain order and some things get pushed back. Ting is if you say I’ll send you info and if you need anything from e you know where to find me. I will come back to you’ Make sure you do!! That conversation will be remembered if you don’t go back to them.

 

What has been your biggest challenge in working with different types of organizations in bridging the gap between marketing and sales?

In part, they don’t see the full journey of marketing to sales. They see it as ‘a brochure and that’ll do’. And attitudes of buying has changed. The info in a brochure could be everything you actually do. But if it’s tired and dated, it looks like you don’t care much. It’s an impression to the customer that you don’t care enough to make it current.

Think of the old days of calling from a phone book – hoping someone will eventually say yes because it’s a number game.

Buying attitudes have changes – you can’t expect to get on the phone and people to say ‘yes’ to a meeting with you. They are juggling so much more and do more in their roles now. The pressures of working is a lot harder.

The leverage to do business sometimes you have to rein back on a meeting and consider an online meeting or exchange emails.

The way buyers buy has changed so you have to accommodate how they want to buy and modify your communications and reaching out according.

Now a person comes to mind when you’re making that first impression. People buy from people not businesses. First impressions are so important.

Unless you can connect with the person on  the other end of the phone that you’re dealing with that you feel like they understand what you’re looking to do and do that in the price range you can afford, that’s the person they will buy from.

What do your target customers reach out to you for?

 

Most people don’t have the time to be making the calls themselves. Owners may have been handing that themselves but the pipeline gets to a point where they can’t add anything new. They want to grow and contact her to get her help.

 

Then it becomes from a point of view that they are doing so well that then they want a member of staff take that on because they see the value of having someone full time vs someone one day a week. The training then gets passed on. She’s essentially doing herself out of a job. It’s good to see people achieving though.

Sometimes you can come from a different background and just need a freshen up. Recently someone working in sales office. Restructure of the business they have been asked to work from home to lower overhead. So working from home the whole environment changed. they don’t know how to tackle their day and handle the process. So a Power Hour is to help them to refocus and help them to set themselves up to carry on.

Analogy: 

You can be very good at making ball bearings. But when it comes to tell someone how good those ball bearings are, it can be difficult for various personality types. It could be that some people just don’t know how to tell the story on how good the ball bearings are. They don’t want to be salesy! You don’t need to be – you can just be an educator on how good the ball bearings are because people will enjoy hearing the story because you’re very passionate about making ball bearings.

Everyone’s challenge is completely different when they come to her.

Sometimes they know how to make calls but they don’t what to do after that. So it could be creating a process for them.

A sales team ‘how do we find new business’? They have databases but need to find the right people. So just say down with 6 people and showed them how to use LinkedIn. Set them up on LI so they can leverage that power and share their messages as a company. They then find them and creates inbound inquiries as well.

No two days are the same!  Everyday’s a school day!

Really enjoys the problem solving and the creativity of thinking on your feet. If it’s something she doesn’t know then she’ll respond she’ll find out.

What would be something about you or your company don’t know but maybe they should?

Most people think she has a big team behind her and it’s just her in the business. That’s why it’s Wag Associates – she has a lot of resources at her fingertips. So if someone needs something she doesn’t do or can’t at that time, she refers to others. Very resourceful!

 

Part of having conversations and relationships, it doesn’t have to just be the salesperson or the person in marketing or the MD the person who wants the ROI. It really comes down to how you answer your phone. To the drive dropping something off to the customer and their attitude with how they are turning the goods over to the customer. Every person in the org truly does represent the company and the brand. So they really are part of the entire sales process so it’s important to invest in everybody.

 

To have a great conversation if you don’t back it up with evidence. They want proof, to see that you’re real and that it exists. There were uncertain times where there were so many scams, people are shrewder, doors are locked a little tighter. The customer service in the accounts department is equally important as an example of calling when a customer is past due – how it’s approached is a reflection on the company and brand.

 

Where you can connect with Wendy:

Wag Associates

LinkedIn

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